The holidays will soon be upon us and this year you’ve vowed to make the holidays healthier for you and your family. Traditions being what they are, you know it’s easy enough to fall into the old patterns of years gone by and eat too much, drink too much, and stress too much during family gatherings that should be a fun and integral part of the holiday season.
There are more ways to have fun during this time of year than there are reasons to dread it! Incorporate one or two new traditions each year; subtlety is an effective and longer lasting approach when trying to make any change in routine.
- Look for healthier versions of traditional foods to serve. Make them your new holiday tradition.
- Gather up the family and go outside. Decorate the outside of the house, build a snow man, go sledding, go caroling, play in the leaves, throw a football around, dance to holiday songs, and encourage more physical activity in general.
- Turn off the TV and read aloud to your children or grandchildren.
- Participate in a charity fun run, turkey trot or 5K.
- Instead of driving around looking at holiday lights, walk around the neighborhood to see them.
- Visit a local fire station and tell the volunteers how much you appreciate their service.
- Count your blessings; remember the less fortunate and volunteer at a homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or senior center.
- Instead of alcohol, toast with apple cider or non-alcoholic wine.
- It’s okay to say no (yes, really!). Stop the “tradition” of going to every party you’re invited to, and participating in activities that don’t interest you.
- Don’t let stress get the better of you. Schedule time for yourself when you can take a long hot soak in the tub, listen to relaxing music, and calm your mind and body.